Van Riemsdyk out until end of regular season with broken foot

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The season in the wilderness for 22-year-old James van Riemsdyk hit yet another snag last night, when he was diagnosed with a broken bone in his left foot after blocking a shot from Milan Jurcina late in the first period of a 6-3 win over the Islanders last night.

On Friday, the third-year forward was further evaluated, and while a timetable has been set, the news was not good.

“James will have surgery on Mar. 6 to repair a broken bone in his left foot. Dr. Steven Raikin will put a plate in to help with the healing process. James will be out 4-6 weeks,” said GM Paul Holmgren on Friday afternoon.

That window means JvR is not expected to return to the lineup until the very last week of the regular season, which ends on April 7 in Pittsburgh.

So now the player CSN’s John Boruk called Holmgren’s best “chip” for offseason dealing is down for the count and appears that it is best left on the table.

It’s the perfect capper on a campaign which introduced JVR, fairly or unfairly, as one of the new young leaders of the franchise. He has totaled just 11 goals and 24 points in 43 games and has failed to score in his last 10 games dating back to a two-goal night against Chicago on January 5.

In the very next game, at home against Ottawa two days later, he was struck by an elbow from former teammate Bobby Butler and things began to go awry.

The latest date van Riemsdyk could be available is mid-April, sometime in the middle of the first round of the playoffs. Given the organization’s penchant for players miraculously beating the odds on original injury timetables, it’s a good bet he’ll be back to make a contribution before the year is out.

But with a roster stocked with players who have filled roles admirably throughout the year, there really is no sense in rushing him back.